International Day- an event where people of different nationalities and cultures came together to experience different traditions- was held here at Mines around Thanksgiving Break. There was food, there were performances, and everyone was just being themselves. Needless to say, it was a great experience.
Peru’s performance was a dance put on by two different boy-girl pairs. I was amazed to see the children so confidently and effortlessly dance around the stage in front of hundreds of people. The kids must have put in hours upon hours of time to get this dance right, something that I would not have wanted to do as a kid, but the result was fantastic. The dance style was formal, and what shined through to me was how professional it was. The boy was able to convey a vast chivalry towards the girl, and the girl was mature in her reactions.
Though this was a dance and not reality, it was able to highlight differences in culture that I believe reflect poorly on American culture today, or at least pop-culture.
These kids were expected to do well, in stark contrast with elementary schools today, where kids can continue advancing through classes they struggle in, causing a slower advance and later collapse in educational ability and attitude toward learning. The dancers received a well-earned round of applause for their performance, and while elementary school musicals are perhaps endearing moments for parents, there is a large disparity in the amount of individual effort put in by the kids.
America needs to learn to get rid of participation ribbons, because it discourages ambition. It wants everyone to have the same outcome, but that just does not make sense. If we award all runners in a marathon the same amount of prize money, then few people would run marathons anymore because there is no incentive to be the best. But, I digress.
If men and women start seeing each other in a respectful manner, especially in these younger generations, America will see the family unit strengthening again. Just imagine if exclusive relationships and commitment became desirable in pop-culture. People should not be afraid to ‘catch feelings’ or have a desire for absolute boundaries in a relationship; rather, we should want to uphold morals first and temporary benefits last.
Thermodynamics defines work done by a system as positive; similarly, individual accomplishment and developed relational strength should be celebrated if we are to be a generation that should be proud of itself.